Friday, May 06, 2011

Flippers Free Comic Book Day

There has been a lot of talk in the last couple of days about people who buy commission sketches at conventions and turn around and "Flip" them on ebay. Over the years I've had different opinions about convention commissions but for the most part once someone buys something from me I feel it's their property and they can do with it what they please. I've had key pieces of art switch hands over the years. Sometime I don't know why the person did it, other times I felt like the art ended up in the hands of someone who appreciated it more. Once you sell a piece no matter the level of emotion you put into it. It takes on a life of it's own.

There was a point where I just did free sketches for people at every convention. I would draw the entire convention and I almost always had a line. I only changed my policy when I found out certain people would hit me up at every show and turn around and sell the free sketches on ebay for $50-$100 bucks. I was not cool with it because it was not in the spirit of how and why I was doing free sketches. I changed my policy to a free sketch if you purchased something. Which seemed to work pretty well. In the end I settled on free sketches for kids and a set price for sketches and for more complex pieces a higher commission price. I've found that sort of weeds out the "flippers" and the people who really enjoy your work seem more than happy to pay for the artwork they want. As recently at the Wizard World Anaheim show I had a collector commission a sketch cover from me and he had one of the guys who does grading come over and watch me draw it so he could get it sealed and verified that I drew it. For him it's obviously an investment. Which is fine by me. If he turns around and sells it five years at a higher price it only contributes to the overall value of my artwork which in the end I believe will benefit me in the long run from a financial standpoint.

I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I used to like to go through my old artwork and try and remember the mindset I had when I created it. Now I focus more on what I'm creating at the moment or where I'm planning to take my art in the future. Past artwork hopefully represents a step towards learning something new.

Art for me is about taking an idea or an emotion and realizing it through a drawing or painting or in a printed book. Once those ideas are converted they reside withing the experience I had making the art and the experience someone has viewing or reading it. In that sense the physical artwork doesn't hold a sentimental place in my life. In many ways I'm sure it would have a better "life" in the hands of a collector who will display it or have a deeper emotional connection to the physical art. In this case I don't mind giving the artwork a better life...for a price..ha!

For those of you that don't know tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day. I'll be doing free sketches (I still do them from time to time) at Geoffrey's Comics from 10am-12pm. Come by get some free comics and a sketch!
15900 Crenshaw Blvd # B
Gardena, CA 90249-4875
(310) 538-3198
First person to mention Deviant Art will get a free signed issue of Samurai The Graphic Novel!
You can always buy a copy of Samurai The Graphic Novel here: Samurai TGN buy page!

-karl

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